By W. T. Stace
The traditional Greek philosophers have performed a pivotal function within the shaping of the western philosophical culture. This booklet surveys the seminal works and ideas of key figures within the historical Greek philosophical culture from the Presocratics to the Neoplatonists. It highlights their major philosophical issues and the evolution of their inspiration from the 6th century BCE to the 6th century CE.
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Additional info for A Critical History of Greek Philosophy
2 But these misread Kant’s intentions. His criticisms of religion were not meant to deny its tenets, but rather to liberate them from theoretical reason so that they could be given a more legitimate footing. This agenda has, in fact, considerable similarities to Martin Luther’s own views on reason and religion – a point that should hardly be taken as coincidence since Kant was brought up in a Lutheran Pietist household and his childhood education was at the Collegium Fridericianum, a Lutheran Pietist institution (Kuehn 2001: 24–60).
But these are minor victories, ultimately swamped by nature: “One wide grave engulfs” us all and our hopes for moral justice cannot be sustained before the litany of “all the evils of poverty, illness, and untimely death” (CJ: 5:452). To the above, one might want to rebut that if some success is possible, however slight, it is still enough to satisfy the can of ought implies can. There are times where we are fortunate enough to have nature not interfere with our attempts to exercise justice in the world.
This is not something that can be solved by reason, at least not in its theoretical mode. It is, rather, through faith that we must confront our state of sin and ﬁnd our way to redemption. Religion is not, for either Luther or Kant, an intellectual enterprise, but a matter for the heart, a practical problem that demands a practical rather than theoretical solution. FAITH, KNOWLEDGE AND THE HIGHEST GOOD The title, Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, hardly suggests this Lutheran passion, but this is precisely what the text is about, as is Kant’s overall philosophy of religion.
A Critical History of Greek Philosophy by W. T. Stace